Sense of Place

A theme that is particularly close to my heart is the notion of sense of place. This refers to 'place' being an essential element in the development of people, lifestyle and culture. This 'sense' is created by the relationship between people and the land; land being the predominant partner subtley determining the way people live, imposing its ancientness, its changing parameters, its weathering, on the dimensions and habits of day to day life.

All architecture is confronted with this 'sense' - a landscape that can be modified and made to obey the will of construction or a land that can be sympathised with and allowed to speak to the building and its planning. Going with the flow, the path of least resistance can be as challenging as trying to impose our will on life, but in architecture, in order to accommodate the nature of people and their need to interact with the land and its natural ambience, there has to be consideration given to this aspect of design.

In 2013, we travelled to Europe from Australia by sea; it is easier to experience a sense of place in some Mediterrannean coastal settings where we see the roads and the buildings made to fit the contours of the land; old houses and new perched above the ocean, embedded in the hilltops like fragile birds nests overhanging the vista, giving full rein to the landscape and consequently to its ancient and historic vibes.

This will be a an ongoing theme in this Blog; an exchange that I think is necessary in our modern architectural dialogue - our relationship with buildings and their relationship with the land.

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Copyright: Jessica Syme 2014